Family Living 4 Less

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“The Eater’s Manifesto”

Posted by flsquared on February 25, 2009

Speaking of food being a priority for our family, I just finished reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.   

This book was an interesting take on eating:  according to Pollan, much of what Americans eat is not, in fact, food. And when we do consume food and non-food products, we  tend to eat too much of it.

The last portion of the book includes suggestions on how to–and not to–eat.  Here are the ones that struck a chord with me:

1.  While (culturally) the Japanese stop eating when the are 80% full and the French when they are full, Americans know to stop eating when their plates are empty.

  • Make sure your portions are of the correct size.
  • Eat at a table (not at a desk, not in front of the TV, …) and with others.  Make your meals a social experience.  This will also make it easier to eat slowly so your brain will register when you are full!

2.  Get to know your food:  

  • Cook (as much as you can).  Try to get “hands on” and minimize the use of the microwave.
  • Plant a garden (if you can).  If you live in a city apartment like me, try to go to farmers markets and participate in your area’s CSA.

3.  Eat quality food–you will appreciate it more and need less of it.

  • (my favorite!)  Don’t buy your groceries where you get your gasoline!
  • Avoid processed food products when you can (keep an eye out for unpronounceable ingredients, health claims on the packaging, a long list of ingredients,….)
  • Shop around the supermarket instead of through the aisles.  Other then frozen veggies and dried legumes, most of the aisles are full of processed non-food items.
  • You can eat meat (hurrah!), but it should be more of a side dish than an entree.

While fresh fruit and veggies are not always the least expensive options at the store, eating more “food” and less processed “non-food” has actually cut our grocery bill.  But even if it hadn’t, the benefits (more energy, better moods, improved health, …) are worth the investment.

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